Bay Restoration Septic Fund

Talbot County has a grant to locally administer the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) program. The BRF is a State-supported program that provides funding to replace conventional septic tanks with nitrogen-reducing units or funding for sewer connections of existing dwellings where public sewer is available. The program’s purpose is to reduce the amount of harmful nutrients, such as nitrogen, that septic systems discharge into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Program Coodinator

Kendra Blake
Contract Manager
Department of Public Works

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Bay Restoration Funding (BRF)?

    Bay Restoration Funding (BRF) is a grant for the cost and installation of the Best Available Technology (BAT) System also including the cost of a two-year Operations and Maintenance (O&M) package. After the first two years, the owner will be responsible for paying for the O & M inspections performed by a certified service provider. The grant does not pay for non-BAT components such as drain fields unless you qualify for low-income status.

  • How is grant funding prioritzed?

    Based on the amount of grant funding allocated to Talbot County for the fiscal year and the amount of applicants applying for funding, applicants will be prioritized based on having submitted a completed application.

    Prioritization of BRF Grant Funds

    Grant recipients (local government, health department, others, who are awarded BRF SSUP funds by the Board of Public Works should prioritize applications for financial assistance as follows:

    1. Failing septic systems in the Critical Area*
    2. Failing septic systems outside the Critical Area
    3. Septic systems for which there is no County permit record or for non-conventional systems in the Critical Area
    4. Septic systems for which there is no County permit record or for non-conventional systems outside the Critical Area
    5. Permitted conventional septic systems in the Critical Area
    6. Permitted conventional septic systems outside the Critical Area

    *The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area is all land within 1,000 feet of the high water line of tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, click here.

  • Who is eligible to apply?

    The grant eligibility amount is based on the annual household income for all owners of the property. The income in required for all persons listed as the property owners on the deed. Depending on the income level and/or business status, the grant level (by percentage) will determine the cost that the grant will cover.

    Proof of income is required for applicants seeking 100% funding. Applicants are required to provide a copy of their 2022 Federal Income tax return as submitted to the IRS. In order for an applicant to be determined “low income,” an IRS verification transcript or a non-filing status letter must be obtained from the IRS and submitted as proof. 100% funding amount is based on a standard BAT system, if a larger system is required by OEH, the additional cost will be approved by MDE on case-by-case bases.

    • Income eligibility limits are listed on page 3 of the “BRF Program Guidance” document (note, the household size is as listed on the applicant’s Federal Tax return under exemptions). Grant funding may also pay for repairs and/or replacement of non-BAT components such as the drain field for low-income applicants only. MDE requires (3) three contractor bids for low-income applications submitted by the applicant to DPW for approval and the lowest bid is awarded the contract by DPW and MDE. If the applicant does not file income taxes, the applicant needs to provide an IRS verification transcript of a non-filing status to DPW. For assistance, please contact the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 or visit the website at
    • If the property owner(s) total household income is under $300,000, as shown on the 1040 form of the federal tax return, you may be eligible for the 100% grant funding of the cost of the BAT unit (tank only).
    • If the property owner(s) total household income is over $300,000, income information will not be required. The property owner could be eligible for 50% grant funding of the cost of the BAT unit (tank only).
    • Business owned property, such as an LLC, are only eligible for 50% grant funding regardless of BAT unit (tank size). If the owner qualifies as a “Small Business,” they can be eligible to receive up to 75% grant funding. The link to register and receive a small business number is
    • Non-profit Organizations are 100% eligible of the BAT system (tank only); non-BAT components are not eligible. Verification of a non-profit entity and proof of income are required for funding by submitting federal income tax form 990.
    • New construction projects - the owner is responsible for a $1,200 deductible from the grant amount. (See “BRF Program Guidance, Section III. Eligible Projects for SSUP Grant Funding,” #2 about the new construction deductible.)
  • How do you apply?

    These documents make up the application. Applicants will be placed on the list to receive funding upon receipt of complete documentation submittal to Public Works.

    1. A Public Works Agreement (PWA) as initiated by DPW, which all property owner(s) as listed on the recorded deed will need to sign before a public notary. The original signed copy will need to be returned to DPW, (copies will not be accepted) THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT AN APPLICATION
    2. The property owner(s) shall provide a copy of their current year's Federak Tax Return 1040 Form, If the property is owned by a trust or life estate, all owners listed will need to submit income information.
    3. SB554 Letter of Determination from the OEH
    4. Copy of the approved Sanitary Construction Permit from the OEH
    5. Three-Way Agreement signed by BAT unit vendor, property owner and septic contractor
    6. If someone listed on the recorded deed for the property is deceased, a copy of his/her death certificate is required. (as applicable)
    7. Additional information may be requested as per MDE requirements.

Page last modified Friday, May 3, 2024 11:34:12 AM